Hi there! We’re the Active Minds Send Silence Packing Fall 2012 Road Trip staff, Brandon Doman and Nicole Pietrzak. We were hired by the Active Minds national office to take the program on the road, and we couldn’t be more happy to do so. We’ve set up this blog so that everyone can be a part of the tour, anywhere and anytime.
I’ve spent most of my life, so far, in “America’s High-Five,” also known as Michigan. In June of 2009 I received my degree in English from Central Michigan University. I always knew the kind of things I liked—people, ideas, connections, expression, details, etc, but I never really knew how to bring them all together. These led me to things like small personal projects, my major, lofty dreams, all of that ‘growing up’ stuff. Things really started coming together once I graduated. With the whole world ahead of me, I decided to use my new freedom, experience, and curiosity to start my biggest, most committed personal project ever. In late June 2009, I began the Don’t Talk to Strangers projects. While sitting on a sunny sidewalk in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I began, as I always had, wondering about the lives of the people passing by. I decided to try to capture a glimpse of these stories of the strangers we pass every day by asking strangers to write a journal entry in my notebook. Over the next eight months the project snowballed in a way that I couldn’t have ever imagined, and eventually led me to meeting the wonderful staff at Active Minds. Here’s to adventure.
I am originally from Southeast Michigan, and recently moved to Raleigh, North Carolina for the warm weather and delicious barbecue. The South has given me experience as a preschool teacher and made me fall in love with my big blue Pit bull, Dr. Banner. I received my Bachelors degree from Central Michigan University in Family and Youth Studies in December of 2009. I enjoyed participating in volunteer recruiting and acceptance education while interning at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh. I am excited for the adventure that Send Silence Packing is going to take me on and I look forward to teaching people about the importance of positive mental health and learning so many new things from everyone along the way.